While this statement may be a safe and acceptable compromise for many Christians, there are some inherent issues with it. ◊
Carl was proud to be recently asked to speak at the local community college symposium on Climate Change for the Coming Age. As a senior scientist with an environmental agency, he was pleased to do his part in educating the public on important issues to preserve the earth. Carl and his family attend a large community protestant church.
When asked, he says that he believes in God, but he also believes in evolution.
Cheryl is an human resources director for a small software firm. She’s very active in encouraging her company’s internal resource conservation programs as well as supporting community programs and civic leaders that promote clean energy and environmentally friendly policies across her city and state. She is a single mother with two children and has recently started re-attending her local Catholic church.
When asked, she says she believes in God and evolution; that God could have used evolution in creating the world.
Rick is a college junior majoring in finance and business administration. He interned this past summer for a small accounting firm and expects to enter the marketplace with the firm when he graduates in the spring. Rick is an avid runner and outdoorsman and also volunteers with active youth programs at his church. He loves to lead weekend small teams in weekend hiking and kayaking excursions.
When asked, he says he is a theistic evolutionist, claiming happily that “God used evolution!”
Each of these 3 people, Carl, Cheryl, and Rick, are productive in the marketplace and lead active and fulfilling lives in and around their communities. They also value family, the preservation of the environment, and share a faith in Christianity.
And they also all claim a belief in evolution.
Well, what’s wrong with that?
They certainly are not alone in their thinking. They, and many good people like them are theistic evolutionists; that is, they believe God used evolution to create the universe and everything in it.1 For some, this is an acceptable compromise – belief in at least some aspects of evolution and belief in God.
This position provides social and scientific respectability, while satisfying an inward conviction that there must be a Creator. For these people, evolution is compatible with the Bible.
But is it really?
To be clear, microevolution is absolutely true; that is, things change within its kind or species (think dogs, horses, cats, flies, finches, etc.). But macroevolution or wholesale change of one species to a new species (think dogs becoming horses, frogs becoming birds, or monkeys becoming humans) is absolutely false and unproven. And while Charles Darwin’s theory confirmed microevolution, it has failed with macroevolution and never really addressed how the world or universe were created.
Actually, since Darwin published his Origin of Species in 1859, many who knew what the Bible said about creation and origin topics have tried to reinterpret Scripture to make it compatible with the theory of evolution. Here are some of the better-known efforts to reinterpret the early chapters of Genesis: 2
- The Day-Age Theory – claims that each of the six creation days was a long age.
- The Gap Theory – claims that a vast period of time or gap elapsed between the first two verses of Genesis, perhaps billions of years.
- The Framework Theory – claims that the six creation days are a literary device or framework in which the creation days are not chronological or literal.
- The Revelation Theory – claims that in six days God revealed to Adam what He created over ages.
- Progressive Creation Theory – claims that God created, but He did so over billions of years, in many short, miraculous, progressive steps.
Many people claiming to be Christians, and therefore believing in the existence, teachings, and deity of Jesus Christ, miss (or forget, or ignore) the importance of Christ’s words or those spoken about Him:
- [Jesus said] “But from the beginning of creation, God made them [Adam and Eve], male and female.” – Mark 10:6
All things came into being through Him [Jesus], and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. – John 1:3
For by Him [Jesus] all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. – Colossians 1:16
- [Jesus] “…that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel… – Luke 11:50-51
The last quote indicates that Jesus Christ placed Abel very close to the beginning of creation, not billions of years after the beginning. His Jewish listeners would have assumed this meaning in Jesus’ words. Even first century Jewish historian Josephus indicates that the Jews of his day believed that both the first day of creation and Adam’s creation were about 5,000 years before Christ.3
Theistic Evolution Countered
Beyond the words of Jesus, here are some Biblical points that counter theistic evolution: 4
- Yes, Genesis contains two descriptions of creation. The first is chronological, while the second is from man’s perspective. A close study of the Hebrew words shows no conflict. Christ, who in a single sentence mentioned both descriptions, knew they referred to the same creation event. (see Matthew 19:4–5)
- God, the Creator, with purpose and supernatural power, brought forth the heavenly bodies, Earth, and life. Mind preceded matter. (see Genesis 1–2, Psalms 19:1, 33:6)
- The earth was not formed by a big bang and then slowly over billions of years. On Day 1, the Earth was formed in darkness. (see Genesis 1:2) Soon afterward, but before the Sun and stars were made, blinding light appeared. (see Genesis 1:3)
- The earth did not evolve over billions of years or ages. Creation occurred in six literal, consecutive days. (see Genesis 1, Exodus 20:11) The Hebrew word for day, yom, always means literal, consecutive days when modified by a plural number. Yom was defined as a literal day when it was first used. (see Genesis 1:4,5) Each creation day had only one “evening and morning.”
- God did not need a billion years or a bloody, cruel, inefficient process like evolution (consisting primarily of mistakes) to create. Right after the creation, God saw all that He had made, and it was “very good.” (see Genesis 1:31) After the fall, things deteriorated (see Genesis 3:16–19, Romans 8:18–22) and diversified. We have never seen a new kind of life evolve. (see Exodus 20:11)
In Walt Brown’s exhaustic work, In the Beginning, and other works like Stephen Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt, there are many more points and counterpoints to theistic evolution versus the Biblical account. The challenge is for those of us, like myself, who used to believe the same way Carl, Cheryl, and Rick do, to honestly reassess their evolutionary beliefs in light of so much information that is available. It’s worth the study.
Do you believe Jesus and the Bible or man?
…For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” – John 5:46-47
1 In the Beginning – Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, by Walt Brown, Center for Scientific Creation, Phoenix, AZ, http://www.creationscience.com, p. 387.
2 Ibid., pp. 385-393.
3 Did Jesus Say He Created in Six Literal Days?, by Ken Ham, The New Answers Book, https://answersingenesis.org/days-of-creation/did-jesus-say-he-created-in-six-literal-days/, chapter 20, 2007.
4 Ibid., Brown; pp. 387-391.
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